Outstanding Introduction to Parker's and/or Porter's Music
Anthony G Pizza | FL | 02/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the release of this songbook collection, Charlie Parker achieves instrumentally what labelmate Ella Fitzgerald (and, of course, Frank Sinatra) did vocally: join an elite group of first-rate Cole Porter interpreters.It helps having fine support (including drummers Buddy Rich, Max Roach, and Art Porter, bassist Teddy Kulick and pianist Oscar Peterson). It also helps to overcome obstacles (some fussy big-band/string arrangements and an dissapointing pop rendition by Gil Evans on the first "In The Still Of The Night.") Highlights include a blues-based "I Love Paris" (featuring bass/drum interplay sounding like a funereal rumba), Parker floating sheets of jazz like a magic carpet above the sweet strings of "Easy to Love," and an unusually somber version of the wistful "Just One Of Those Things." This provides an outstanding first step in appreciating Parker; to know the lyrical master Porter better, check out "Frank Sinatra Sings The Classic Cole Porter" on Capitol, or Ella Fitzgerald's legendary "Cole Porter Songbook" on Verve."
Having it both ways!
Nikica Gilic | 01/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Can you at the same time enjoy Parker's brilliant and furious improvisations and Porter's beautiful melodies? At the first glance the answer would be now and, in spite of strings at most numbers, this compillation proves that the giant of be-bop obviously found something intriguing in Porter's work (as did numerous other giants of jazz)...
Sure, at a few songs Parker shows the signs of faltering, but the most of his performances sound near his highest level, and some are even with a fine modern big band featuring Oscar Peterson (p), Bill Harris (tb), Bernie Privin (tp) and even Freddie Green on rhythm guitar!
This is recommended both to Parker fans and to Porter fans..."